So your trip to Mexico is finally here. You’ve been imagining that luxuriously soft sand beneath your feet for months. And you know exactly what your first order at the bar will be. Oh, and that snorkeling…
And then with a flash, you remember: the travel insurance. Right. You told your better half you’d take care of that. Yikes.
Wait. The credit card. Yes, your card comes with comprehensive insurance, doesn’t it? Sure it does. But how much? What does it cover? How much do you need, anyway? It’s probably worth a phone call, right? Right.
Nah, you don’t have time. There is so much to do before you leave.
Hey, it’ll be fine. It’s a CREDIT CARD after all. Must be good. More importantly, gotta get shopping for some new shorts. No time like the present to check that item off the list. Besides, you really do NOT have time to be on hold for half an hour, and then answer questions about your age, marital status, if you have heart conditions. Ugh…
Yes, travel insurance can be complicated, with almost too many options sometimes. What do you need? What do you not need? So let’s clear a few things up and simplify it altogether.
First of all, what is Travel Insurance really and is it totally necessary?
Travel insurance is intended to cover medical expenses, trip cancellation, lost luggage, flight accident and other accidental losses incurred while travelling outside of your country. Usually, you buy it to cover the exact duration of the trip, but not all policies are the same.
Is it necessary? Well, of course it’s not mandatory, but leaving without it is a huge financial risk. If you do have accidental losses or medical expenses while away, you will be directly responsible for those costs. It depends on the country, but in the US, just ONE DAY ALONE in the hospital costs on average, over $5,000. * Okay, that’s a lot. Over a week, that’s a whole heck of a lot.
Alrighty then, let’s go over a few myths and truths about travel insurance to help you figure out what you need.
MYTH #1 “I’m covered on my credit card.”
THE FACTS: Every credit card is different, but the typical/popular cards do provide SOME coverage, however there are many restrictions. Usually, a medical emergency must be reported within 48 hours of admission to hospital. And if you don’t report the medical emergency within the timeframe required, you will only receive 80 percent reimbursement of the eligible medical emergency expenses, to a limit of $30,000. The absolute maximum coverage is $1,000,000 in medical expenses and typically the maximum days of coverage is 21 days. However, if you’re over 65, you can only get coverage for 4 days.
A provider like Goose Insurance gives you $10,000,000 in coverage and many more days of coverage with UNLIMITED age restrictions.
MYTH #2 “All travel insurance providers are basically the same.”
THE FACTS: Absolutely false. Each company offers different features and coverages to their policies. Here are some things that can differ between policies:
- Maximum coverage amount per policy and/or traveller
- Types of conditions that may be covered or not, including any pre-existing medical conditions
- Some policies have age limits
- Maximum days of coverage
- Accidental dental limit
- Return of pets or children coverage
- Standalone trip cancellation
- Accidental death and dismemberment
- Pregnancy care whilst travelling
- and the list goes on…
So how do you compare the options, and what’s important? It depends on what’s important to you and what your specific situation is.
If you only need a single day trip policy because you’re hopping over the border, a limited number of providers will offer that single day coverage for about $20 for the day. Goose Insurance offers a single-day policy for $4. If age is an issue, find a travel insurance provider who has unlimited age restrictions. Love the convenience of purchasing and managing your travel insurance policy by phone? There are a limited few who provide that service, but for those who want to make the process easy and mobile-accessible, it can be a simple and pain-free way to buy your policy. The best thing is to consider what’s important to you, then check around online, read the policy wordings of the provider, or call and compare the features listed above.
MYTH #3: “It takes a long time to buy travel insurance and it’s always a pain.”
THE FACTS: It is true that is sometimes the case. You call, and end up on hold in a call centre queue. Maybe it’s a ten-minute wait, maybe an hour. Then the agent asks you question after question. Then they say they will email you a quote. Another hour later or maybe more, you FINALLY have your quote. Exasperating.
Acquiring a quote online can be a fairly easy way to begin the process but bear in mind it also often requires a follow up phone call or more lengthy process. Purchasing through a mobile-first app like Goose Insurance is one of the fastest ways to purchase your policy or solicit a quote. Once you’re signed up for the app, you can purchase a policy in 60 seconds or less. You’ll also have access to online chat, email support and agents to help you by phone if you prefer.
MYTH #4: “I can’t buy 1-day policies. There’s always a 2 or 3-day minimum.”
THE FACTS: Actually, you can. Although it is common and typical with the majority of insurance companies to require a minimum of 2 or 3 days to cover short trips, there are a select few who do offer single-day policies at affordable rates for that quick day trip over the border. Goose Insurance Services Ltd. is one of them, offering one-day policies starting at $4, available for purchase via the app. When it’s time for to go over the border to take advantage of Black Friday or shop for a little black dress at your favourite US department store, a day policy is all you need to protect you when that stupid accident happens. A twisted ankle, a cut leg, or a more serious accident on the road… anything can happen.
MYTH #5: “I can’t buy a policy once I’ve left town.”
THE FACTS: Very often, that’s the case. The clear majority of travel insurance companies won’t cover you once your trip has started. Goose is one of the rare companies who will allow you to purchase the policy up to seven days afterwards.
With Goose Insurance, if the policy was purchased within seven days after departing from your home province, there is simply a 48-hour waiting period from the effective date for the policy. After that, you’re covered.
Plus, the mobile app makes it easy to purchase in just a few clicks, no matter where you are. You won’t have to make any phone calls or complete lengthy forms. Whether you’re by the pool in Jamaica or in a grocery lineup in Paris, it takes less than 60 seconds on the app to get your policy “in hand.”
MYTH #6: “ I can’t buy coverage if I have a pre-existing condition.”
THE FACTS: That is mostly true. The majority of insurance companies don’t want to take the risk of clients having a pre-existing condition resurface while away, causing a health issue for which they will have to cover the expenses. To most companies, it is a risk too great to take. If you’re flying a little low to begin with, there actually is an alternative. Goose Insurance allows you to purchase and add extra coverage for your pre-existing medical conditions at affordable rates. With Goose, you can add up to $250,000 limit of coverage to your travel medical policy for unstable pre-existing medical conditions.
MYTH #7: “All insurance companies are stuffy and complicated.”
THE FACTS: That indeed is the history and how most people view travel insurance companies. Or let’s face it: insurance companies of any kind.
But it isn’t that way across the board anymore. Now, with the ability to purchase via an app and within several minutes, it’s no longer a long process, a big drag or complicated. It can be as easy as a few clicks on your phone. Talking with an agent or chatting online can actually be quick, fun and lighthearted for a change.
Yes, it’s true. Historically, travel insurance has been limiting, cumbersome and confusing. No more. There are simple alternatives. Less complicated. More attuned to your needs. Easily accessible and with choice and customization.
Because let’s face it. Everyone has different needs, different travel habits, and different health. A company who caters to the individual and their needs, makes it easy and accessible, is the way travel insurance SHOULD be in 2018 and beyond.